Australian marketers lag five years behind UK

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 17 August 2015

Marketers in Australia are five years behind their counterparts in the UK in terms of the profile of the discipline within business, and its role in driving growth.

That's the observation of a group of Australia's top marketers who took part in a trip to the UK as part of a AANA initiative.

The Marketer Exchange was launched as a learning opportunity for Australian marketers.

Marketers from Virgin Mobile, Nine Entertainment, ANZ Bank and Kellogg were part of a cohort of 12 marketers that spent a week meeting some of the UK's top marketers for a series of workshops and learning sessions. They said the experience was invaluable and has sent them back with a renewed focus on pushing marketing forward.

They spent time with Sir Martin Sorrell, McKinsey & Company, John Lewis, supermarket Sainsbury's, banks Santander and HSBC and Ogilvy's Rory Sutherland, among others.

Louise Eyers, group general manager of marketing at ANZ was the first to put a time frame in the lag: “My observation is that we might be four or five years behind. Their [UK marketers] journey's seem to start in about 2010 when off the back of the GFC there was a pivotal business shake up that forced them to think about how the business was going to operate."

Nine Entertainment's Matt James added that the way marketing is viewed by businesses in the UK is fundamentally different to here.

"There was a clear theme around marketing now being a very critical engine for growth. I think that is an absolute belief now within businesses in the UK and it's impacting how businesses are changing structurally,” James said.

Sunita Gloster, CEO of the AANA, said the idea of the trip was to provide a “unique and extraordinary” experience for our marketers to learn and be inspired from the leading marketers driving growth at the brands we admire in the UK.

“The bonus which emerged was to hear in detail how these brands led through a downturn and continued to build and invest with a long term horizon for growth. It was like a week of intimate master-classes,” Gloster said.

For the full run down of what the group learned and how they are putting it in place back on home soil to raise the profile of marketing as a profession, and within their organisations, read the Big Picture feature in the 7 August issue of AdNews in print.

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